The medical profession and specifically nursing, have been consistent benchmarks for St. Nicholas parishioner Louise Allard.
Her life has been service-driven, devoting her time and talent to caring for the less fortunate – locally and beyond.
Allard was born in the city of Valleyfield, in the French province of Quebec, Canada. She grew up in a Catholic family, attending Catholic grade school, high school, university and nursing school.
Allard’s younger brother had some medical issues growing up, and she would often visit him in the hospital. This, coupled with her own surgeries, influenced her to become a pediatric nurse. A 45-year career in nursing ensued.
In 1978, Allard and her then husband moved to California. The couple first settled in Chino and two years later moved to Mission Viejo.
Although Allard was raised Catholic, at age 17 she left the Church. She attended various non-Catholic churches after moving to Southern California, finally settling in at Saddleback Church in 1987. There, she became active in the Salt and Light Ministry. When this ministry closed at Saddleback, Allard felt she was free to re-join the Catholic Church. Shortly after, Allard started teaching classes in the Billings Ovulation Method. This simple, yet effective method of natural family planning was in line with her Catholic upbringing.
Allard is also a teacher trainer in this method. Allard returned to the Catholic faith attending St. Nicholas Church 14 years ago. The last two years she has been serving as a Lector.
During her nursing career, Allard was involved in many aspects of this field, but gravitated quickly into management.
Two years after graduating from nursing school, Allard became a head nurse. Later, she was involved in Home Health Care for adults and children, ultimately becoming a director of nursing. Allard spent the last 15 years of her nursing career working as a case manager.
A NEW MISSION
In 1998, Allard founded Alliance for Life International (ALI), based in Lake Forest. ALI is a human rights organization that encourages States to welcome and protect the lives of preborn children and those who are vulnerable. Using her pro-life medical missionary point of view, Allard began putting the pieces together
for this international organization. Visiting various countries in Africa gave Allard an up-close view of the needs of these areas.
Trips started in 2003 with a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Additional trips were taken in 2007 and 2008, with visits to Uganda and Kenya. Allard began focusing her healthcare vision on Uganda.
“God has led me to share my administrative skills to improve health care in Uganda and provide life affirming services to pregnant mothers,” she said.
Allard has also sought to collaborate with leaders in Uganda to additionally improve medical care for all.
In 2012, she set up her second nonprofit, Alliance for Life International Uganda, as a registered nonprofit in this country. The relationships Allard had been growing in Uganda made this process seamless and set the stage for more direct involvement in this country.
FULFILLING DREAMS POST-RETIREMENT
After a full nursing career, Allard retired from formal employment in 2013 and began bigger plans for her work in Uganda. In 2015, the Uganda Hospital Project was announced. Hoima Diocese of Uganda donated 100 acres of land in the Kibaale region of Western Uganda. The first phase of this hospital in keeping with Allard’s love of pediatric medicine will be a forty-one bed children’s facility, set to begin construction in 2023. The long-term goal of this project will be to serve the medical needs of the area and become a teaching hospital.
In 2022, the nonprofit also opened a bakery. This bakery is connected to a vocational training center, where there are plans to offer a seven-month training course for new bakers. The bakery also shares part of its’ location as the nonprofits Pregnancy Resource Center.
Allard has continued involvement with the Billings Ovulation Method program. She has taught this program at St. Martin de Porres parish in Yorba Linda and in Uganda. Since 2003, Allard has taught the program to over 400 new teachers all over Uganda.
Through her two viable nonprofit organizations, Allard is changing lives in both the United States and Uganda. Her vision, dedication and faith will positively shape the lives of many, for many years to come.
Louise Allard has recently published a book titled, “Surrender and Discover the Abundant Life,” about her continued surrender to God’s renewed purposes which led her to experiences in Africa over the past twenty years.